29 Mar Ward Hygiene Solutions, How We Help Businesses
Lets take a look into the how and why of hygiene solutions
Ward Hygiene Solutions, how we can help
Keeping your business clean, hygienic, and safe for both your staff and your customers, isn’t just a goal you should be aiming for, it’s a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2005) – one that can be extremely costly both financially, and for the reputation of your business if you fail to comply.
The COVID pandemic gave rise to a number of regulations, requirements, and suggested actions. The wearing of facemasks is no longer mandatory, but still recommended on public transport, and in healthcare settings – and there are still individuals who don’t feel safe without wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE).
It’s up to businesses to understand the needs of their staff, and their customers – and make sure they’ve got the processes in place to source the required equipment, maintain the highest standards of hygiene as required by the law, and ensure that this is done within budget.
Businesses that directly engage with the public, such as hotels, hospitals, restaurants, supermarkets, and laundrettes, have all been heavily impacted by the public consciousness being more focused than ever on health and hygiene standards.
Customers are looking for more than simply complying with legislation, and doing the bare minimum to provide hygienic interactions, and are changing the way they engage with these businesses as a reaction to restrictions and safety concerns – and this includes not only how they contact and do business with companies, but also when.
The Irish Tour Operators’ Association (ITOA) found that in September 2021, hotels across the state averaged only 27% occupancy, with hotels in Dublin (normally operating at full capacity, and the highest average occupancy [86%] in Europe) were only 30% full.
Jill de Azevedo – Head of Consumer Insight for Failte Ireland found that, “What we’ve seen in the last 18 months [is that] Irish consumers are making bookings at the very last moment to avoid having to cancel at the last minute, or end up having to quarantine abroad.”
When speaking about the impact of health and hygiene on supermarkets, Professor Maeve Henchion from Teagasc highlighted how the public consciousness has changed and become more focused on the details that may have been considered as ‘mundane’ before, “Food safety, good hygiene, and a focus on hygiene in the supermarket are going to continue to be important. People have become really conscious of things like clean shopping trolleys and such like.”
Operating safely during Covid-19
For businesses operating in the current environment, having a clear plan for your Health & Safety, and Hygiene has never been more important, and more complex – your staff, and customers, are less likely to overlook ‘the little things’ that they might have once ignored, and with internet users in Ireland having increased by 8.5% (388 thousand people) between 2021 and 2022, the likelihood of complaints or issues being aired online is growing.
Paying attention to the smallest of details, as well as the normal daily concerns, is something that every business should be strategically planning for, and allocating a budget to.
What Should Your Business Be Focusing On?
There are a number of different areas which your business needs to consider, to make the best Health and Hygiene choices for staff and customers. What you need to do, and how you need to do it will largely depend on the size and scale of your business, how you operate, and the way in which you engage with customers,
But some common areas that every business will need to address include:
Hand Washing and Extra Sanitisation
A study was conducted towards the knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported practices of hand-hygiene between the general public and medical students. It was discovered that there was no statistical difference between the two groups – the public now has a good knowledge base and positive attitude towards hand hygiene, and consider the practices to be essential, especially with the current pandemic.
This makes having the right hand-hygiene solutions even more important than ever. Your staff and your customers will likely have a very high level of understanding and will expect to see your business provide them with the ability to engage in correct hand-hygiene procedures.
Whether you choose to set up individual sanitising stations or make fuller use of your hygienic dispensers and bathroom accessories, having access to easy to use, maintain, and clean items, and quality, affordable, practical, and suitable products to refill them with is something that every business, regardless of the size, will need to address.
After careful consideration and evaluation, we have chosen to work with award-winning companies such as Brightwell Dispensers, who have ISO certifications, innovative and stylish designs, ethical visions, and values which match our own.
Clean Surfaces and Workspaces that Minimise the Potential Spread of Infection
As well as being concerned with the effectiveness of cleaning products, businesses also need to consider their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the fact that there is a growing emphasis on providing ethical, eco-friendly, and less chemically-focused products.
The balance between cost, effectiveness, and the ‘green’ properties of these consumables is something that we take very seriously – alternative options to traditional chemicals can be great, but only if they still work as well as the product/s they are replacing.
We are very aware of the harmful effects that some cleaners and chemicals can have on the environment, and for companies who are looking to meet green commitments and CSR policy promises, the use of high-performance, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions offers a welcome addition to the business.
In line with our own vision and values, providing the most effective products, at the best prices, in the most sustainable fashion, we have sourced a number of different reusables and consumables from brands such as SURE, Aqua Air, and Diversey. We’ve selected these products and producers because of their commitments to the environment, the quality of their consumables, and the affordability of their products – balancing all these factors so your business can make smart choices, that meet the hygienic levels required by the Health and Safety at Work Act, and advance your own environmentally-friendly policies.
Providing Quality PPE and Testing Where Appropriate
From situations where your staff need respiratory protection at FFP2 and FFP3 standards, or disposable gloves and aprons which offer protection against cross-contamination, or contact with possible contaminants, to providing medical or professional quality COVID testing kits, or thermometers – having the right PPE covers a wide range of situations and potential uses.
The spread of bacteria or contaminants is a serious issue, and can result not only in reputational damage, but also legal situations, fines, and even possible jail time; and the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 can cause serious operational, staffing, and other issues that could be mitigated or avoided by making use of testing packs, and closely monitoring the Health & Safety of your staff, and the customers who they come into contact with.
We feel very strongly about providing the appropriate tools to monitor and manage these issues, which is why our masks have been used in working environments, and help to filter our potentially harmful dusts, smokes, and aerosols with up to 94% efficiency; and our range of available COVID testing kits are registered on the EU Common List, and we supply self-test kits with the CE body mark, and medical or professional kits which can be used in medical or home settings.
By being adaptable, knowing your own business – and its risks, your business will be better placed to overcome some of the difficulties that now exist in the workplace. We are here to help you do that, by working with you to identify the best solutions for your problems, and helping you get the products, services, and consumables that you need, in place, at an affordable price.
We work closely with our chosen suppliers, to bring you the best in high-quality, sustainable, ethical, and affordable hygiene accessories and products. We are constantly evaluating the industry, and the products available, so you know that when you buy from us, you’re getting the best balance of affordability and functionality.